By Rene V. Bonsubre,Jr
Rene Mark Cuarto added his name to the list of Filipino world title-holders by beating countryman Pedro Taduran by unanimous decision for the IBF world minimumweight title.
Both were tentative in the early going but things got heated in the third. They engaged at close quarters but Cuarto’s left hook and right lead, both time tested weapons against a southpaw like Taduran, began to find their mark.
Taduran pressed the action, while Cuarto was more effective using lateral movement to find angles for his left hook and counter right. The rounds were highlighted by heated exchanges.
In the seventh, Taduran shook Cuarto with a hard left and had the challenger backing up. But Cuarto recovered in the eighth as Taduran continued his pressure. The fight was close and up for grabs going into the last two rounds. It was matter of which style the judges’ preferred, Taduran’s aggressiveness or Cuarto’s counterpunching which was the overall trend of the fight.
The three judges – Roel Densing, Brembot Dulalas, and Rodel Garde all had it 115-113 for Cuarto. The third man in the ring was Sabas Ponpon,Jr.
Taduran was defending for the second time. In February of last year, he had a four round technical draw against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares in Guadalupe,Mexico.
The fight was aired live online courtesy of Powcast Sports. In his post-fight interview, Cuarto stated they studied Taduran’s fighting style and their game plan was exactly what happened during the fight.
The latest IBF rankings had Cuarto at number 3 going into this bout. Because of the ongoing pandemic, Taduran was idle for a year while Cuarto did not fight for 14 months
The 24 year old Cuarto is now 19-2-2,11KO's while Taduran,also 24 years old, drops to 14-3-1,11KO's.
For the main undercard bouts, Orlie Silvestre beat Bonjun Loperez by UD, Vincent Astrolabio beat Jerry Pabila in one round, Genesis Libranza also stopped John Mark Apolinario in one round.
This card was held behind closed doors at the Bula Gym in General Santos City. This was also the second all-Filipino world title fight held on local shores this month. Last weekend, Vic Saludar won the secondary WBA world minimumweight title by split decision against Robert Paradero.
The other Filipino world champs are Jerwin Ancajas (IBF junior bantamweight) and Johnriel Casimero (WBO bantamweight).
File Photo- Rene Mark Cuarto (right) in Beijing with trainer Nonoy Neri in 2017.
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